What is sclerotherapy?
Sclerotherapy is a popular method of eliminating varicose veins and superficial telangiectasias (“spider veins”). A solution, called a sclerosing agent, is injected into the veins to break down the vein wall.
Does sclerotherapy work for everyone?
The majority of individuals who receive sclerotherapy treatment will be cleared of their varicosities or have visible improvement. However, there is no guarantee that sclerotherapy will be effective in every case.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed to clear or improve varicose veins differs for each person. The average number of treatments ranges from one to three.
What are the most common side effects?
The most common side effects experienced with sclerotherapy are:
1) Itching: You may experience mild itching along the vein route. This normally lasts 1-2 days.
2) Transient Hyperpigmentation: Approximately 30% of all patients who undergo sclerotherapy notice a light brown discoloration after treatment. Nearly all patients notice a darkening of the vein immediately after the procedure. In rare instances the darkening may persist for 4 to 12 months.
3) Sloughing: Sloughing occurs in less than 3% of patients who have received sclerotherapy. Sloughing consists of a small, slowly healing ulceration at the injections site. A blister may form, open, and become ulcerated. The scar that follows should return to a normal color.
4) Allergic Reactions: Very rarely a patient may have an allergic reaction to the sclerosing agent. This risk is greater in patients who have a history of allergic reactions.
5) Pain: A few patients may experience mild to moderate pain and some bruising around the injection site.
Post Sclerotherapy Care
Wear support stockings (if indicated) for 7 days
Avoid strenuous physical activity for 24 hrs
Avoid prolonged exposure to hot tubs for 24 hrs
Walk as often as possible
Avoid UV exposure for 6 weeks (wear sunscreen SPF 30 or higher)
Kelly Toney, RN